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UN 2008 Greenhouse Gas Footprint, launched on Tuesday, December 15 by UNEP and EMG

The institutions of the UN system are responding to the Secretary-General's call to make its in-house practices alongside its field operations more climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable. This publication presents the first greenhouse gas inventory for the UN system and an overview of the initial steps that have been taken to manage these emissions.

The report is available in E-book and PDF format at the Sustainable UN website


The aggregated GHG emissions of the UN system organizations for their facility operations, travel and peacekeeping operations in 2008 are estimated to approximately 1'740'000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. When excluding peacekeeping operations, the emissions are approximately 770’000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. About 50 % of the emissions are from air travel. The average annual GHG emissions across the UN system are approximately 8.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per staff member.

Polices and measures are being implemented across the UN system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus so far has been on improving the energy-efficiency of buildings and office equipment, increased use of renewable energy, raising staff awareness on energy-savings and the greening of meetings. Areas where efforts have begun, but which hold considerable future potential, include the use of information and communication technologies to reduce emissions and streamlining air travel. Measures to cut emissions have also reduced the consumption of energy, water and paper – and therefore costs, and improved planning and efficiency in work delivery.

A number of organizations have already put into place offsetting initiatives. Five UN system institutions have declared themselves climate- or carbon-neutral, while six others have offset specific events.


Thursday 17 Dec 2009
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